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Editorial: THA student comes to sister’s rescue

  • Carmen Pinckney/Special to JCSTCarmen Pinckney/Special to JCST THA kindergarten student Bryer Daley is awarded a certificate of Valor from Jasper County Fire-Rescue chief Wilbur Daley after he rescued his sister, Kinley, after she fell into a swimming pool.
  • Carmen Pinckney/Special to JCST THA kindergarten student Bryer Daley displays his certificate of Valor for rescuing his sister, Kinley, after she fell into the swimming pool.

Good deeds aren’t reserved just for adults, sometimes a 5-year-old can save the day.

Bryer Daley, a kindergarten student at Thomas Heyward Academy, is the son of Clay Daley, a Ridgeland resident and Bluffton Township firefighter.

On Labor Day Bryer followed in his dad’s life-saving footsteps when he rescued his 3-year-old sister who fell into a swimming pool.

The day of swimming had come to an end and young Kinley was already out of the water and dressed.

“My daughter had her shoes on and was standing under the deck,” said Calla Daley, Bryer’s mother, who was with a group of people at her mother’s home in the Great Swamp area. “I grabbed some stuff to load the car — my car is 10 steps from the pool — and I hear Bryer saying that he’s got Kinley.”

Bryer had stayed swimming in the pool’s deeper end when he saw Kinley fall in. He acted fast, swimming to his sister and grabbing her as Calla and Nathan Polk, Calla’s brother-in-law, raced to grab Kinley from the water.

Calla said her son and her husband, who was working a shift in Bluffton that day, had just been practicing the proper way to perform water rescues. Bryer clearly had paid attention.

“Bryer always told me he wants to be a fireman just like his dad,” Calla said. “He looks up to Clay a lot.”

For his actions, Bryer received a certificate of valor from Jasper County Fire-Rescue Chief Wilbur Daley, who’s also Bryer’s uncle. Chief Daley presented the award last week at Thomas Heyward Academy. Clay, who had worked a couple of years for Ridgeland’s fire department, and Chief Daley then talked to the class about being safe in the water.

“To be that young to do something like that…. He didn’t freak out,” Calla said. “He just handled the situation. Just like his daddy.”

Great job, Bryer.

Remembering Hurricane Matthew

This week marks the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Matthew, a Category 2 storm that flooded the county and forced thousands to evacuate.

We’ve often chronicled the goodwill in the hurricane’s aftermath, but we believe it’s important to acknowledge the events that hit Jasper County and the Lowcountry Oct. 8-9, 2016.

The storm, which produced sustained winds of 45 to 50 mph, knocked down trees and power lines and left more than 1,000 customers without power. About 160 members of the National Guard were brought in to help the county.

It was a powerful hurricane, but the county rallied to help each other.

The county’s desire to support others was proven again last month when the community offered snacks, water and friendly smiles to those headed south after Hurricane Irma.

Thousands of travelers passed through the county before and after the storm and Ridgeland became a destination spot for the road weary. Part of the inspiration for the altruism was inspired by so many in our county having experienced Hurricane Matthew. They understood the anxiety and uncertainties about returning home.

Hurricane Matthew brought true devastation and it’s not something we want to experience again anytime soon, but on the anniversary of the storm we’ll remember the kindness that followed and hope it prevails.

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